Extra Bases

Hermida has earned his at-bats

Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury are into their minor-league rehab assignments and will be back with the Red Sox soon. That will return Jeremy Hermida to the role of fourth outfielder.

But his performance in the last month should earn him more playing time than that spot might normally merit.

Hermida is hitting a modest (OK, lousy) .227 with a non-Red Soxian .299 OBP and plays the outfield like he’s wearing loafers. But he is third on the team with 22 RBIs and 17 of them have come with two outs. He’s hitting .300 (9 of 30) with runners in scoring position.

“I wish I knew what it was,” he said of his ability in the clutch. “I’m just trying to stay composed and do what I normally do.”

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That two-run opposite-field double last night off Mariano Rivera was impressive work. The statistically minded will tell you (quite correctly) that RBIs are not an efficient way to measure a player’s worth because so many other things need to happen that are beyond his control.

But the type of hits Hermida has delivered transcend metrics. He has directly won a few games for the Sox and kept them from falling deeper into the abyss.

Once Cameron and Ellsbury are back it’ll be interesting to see how often Terry Francona works Hermida into right field and left field. Cameron and Ellsbury will need days off and J.D. Drew is usually good for a tight hamstring every 10 days or so. Hermida will get his at-bats.

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By the way, it’s Her-mida. Not Her-media.

“I get that all the time,” he said. “People add an extra letter.”

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